Author Interviews

While looking for some insight from one of my favorite authors, I came across this goldmine of uncut author interviews from Don Swaim’s defunct CBS radio show, Book Beat. I hope you find something of interest. -Phillip

Techniques of the Selling Writer – Fiction Strategy

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.” – Mark Twain This series of articles assumes you want to write stories and find an audience of loyal readers, who then influence new readers, who then themselves become loyal readers.  You can do that in your sleep, right? In order for us to tackle this, we have …

Letting Go of Ideas

Is there an appropriate time to kill an idea? That precious kernel I’ve spent months cherishing; is it one of those darlings that William Faulkner wants me to take out behind the barn and make sure it never bothers anyone again? Or maybe not kill it, but slap it around and convince it to change its ways? As a writer, I can …

Techniques of the Selling Writer – Scene and Sequel

“The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” – Thomas Paine Conflict — the stuff good fiction is made of. A story without it is like a sugar-free donut. You only end up with a bland, fried bagel still sitting in the pink cardboard box at the end of the day. Not too many people care about someone who’s …

Techniques of the Selling Writer – Feelings and Manipulation – Part 2

With the idea of cause and effect firmly in our grasp, we can safely dive into Motivation-Reaction Units (MRU). Shape Emotion through MRUs At its most basic level, an MRU is a pure cause-effect pattern. “It is cause and effect applied to people. Cause becomes motivating stimulus … effect, character reaction.“ Swain defines a motivating stimulus as “anything outside your focal character to which …

Catching My Breath

Yesterday, I took some time to breathe. It was the first day in awhile that I’d had the majority of time to just do what I want. That meant lots of writing and a trip to a local park. The day was beautiful and well spent, I think. -Phillip

Blog Award: The Next Big Thing

Hello readers! You know about my ongoing tussle with our friend, Influenza, but I’ve managed to best it long enough to spit out some words. I remain hopeful that my recovery will continue, though from what I’m hearing, squashing this particular bug may take longer than normal. In the meantime, I’ve been nominated for an award! Friend and fellow writer, …

Techniques of the Selling Writer – Introduction

“The best way to learn is to teach.” – Frank Oppenheimer This post serves as an introduction to a new series I’ll be writing this year, focusing specifically on Dwight V. Swain’s Techniques of the Selling Writer. I’ve spent the past six months reading, rereading, and marking up this “Fiction Writer’s Bible” and I felt a desire to share the ideas it …

Review – Halo: Cryptum by Greg Bear

The friend that lent me I, Robot thought I’d also enjoy Cryptum by Greg Bear. The book is set in the Halo universe, something I’m not overly familiar with.  Beyond shooting friends in the virtual face about eight years ago, I must admit I didn’t know much about the backdrop. I also admit that had I seen this book on Amazon or the local …